The first version of the Flying Frenchman cocktail was created by Andy Mil. He invented it for the absinthe brand La Fee Parisienne during an event in London in 2014.
Quick Facts Flying Frenchman Cocktail
- Method: shaken
- Flavor profile: well-balanced with a strong coffee aroma
- How to serve it: straight up
- Glassware: coupe glass
- Alcohol content: ~ 16% ABV, 21 grams of alcohol per serving
Usually, with coffee cocktails, the aromatic brew dominates the drink. However, the intense anise, fennel, and licorice flavors of absinthe manage to cut through the coffee taste and create a whole new experience.
- 1 Cocktail Shaker
- 1 Jigger
- 1 Hawthorne Strainer
- 1 oz Absinthe
- 1.25 oz Coffee Liqueur
- 1.25 oz Espresso - hot and freshly brewed
- 0.25 oz simple syrup - optional
- Pour all ingredients into your cocktail shaker. The espresso should still be hot.1 oz Absinthe, 1.25 oz Coffee Liqueur, 1.25 oz Espresso, 0.25 oz simple syrup
- Add a generous amount of ice and shake your drink until your cocktail shaker feels icy.
- Strain your Flying Frenchman into a Martini glass.
Recommendations for the Ingredients
Absinthe and two elements with caffeine make the Flying Frenchman just our kind of energy drink. Here's all about the ingredients, including our recommendations to make this drink to perfection:
- Absinthe: The green-colored spirit has an intense anise flavor, reminiscent of licorice, and is known for its high alcohol content, usually above 50%. The obvious choice here is La Fee Parisienne (69%ABV). Two decent alternatives, a little more affordable and with a lower alcohol content (both 60% vol.), are the products from Vieux Carre and St. George.
- Coffee liqueur: I like the Flying Frenchman with a sweeter coffee liqueur like Kahlúa. Absinthe and espresso bring in a lot of bitter notes and an alcoholic edge that a coffee liqueur with a higher sugar content will balance out nicely. If you prefer a less sweet coffee liqueur, e.g., Tia Maria, consider adding a splash of syrup to the recipe.
- Espresso: The espresso for your Flying Frenchman cocktail should be freshly brewed. It should be warm when it goes into the shaker to maintain that beautiful coffee aroma.
Tips for Mixing this Drink
For the best version of the Flying Frenchman Cocktail, brew your espresso only shortly before mixing the drink. As mentioned, it should still be warm when it goes into your cocktail shaker.
Cold coffee has a bitter and sour taste that we do not want in our cocktail- by cold coffee, I do not mean cold brewed, but previously hot that slowly cooled down.
Pouring hot liquid into your shaker will also cause the ice you use for shaking to melt much faster. Thus, add plenty of large ice cubes to cool down your drink properly. Shake for about 15 seconds to chill all ingredients without watering them down.
The story behind Flying Frenchman Recipe
British barkeeper Andy Mil created this wake-me-up cocktail for the renowned French absinthe brand La Fee Parisienne in 2014 at the London Cocktail Club.
His original recipe for the Flying Frenchman, also known as Absinthe Espresso Martini, included Patrón XO Café, a coffee liqueur based on tequila. So, if want to try the original, use this. At 35% ABV, it also leads to a boozier version of the drink.
If you want to visit the bar where Mil served his Flying Frenchman for the first time, the bar is still operating - and very successfully so. It was briefly renamed to Covent Garden Cocktail Club and now goes by the name of Covent Garden Social Club.
For more drinks with coffee, check out some of these favorites:
- The Espresso Martini: Even if you're not much of a coffee person, you will love this drink.
- The Dirty Horchata: a more refreshing option and a boozy twist on the Latin American rice drink.
- The classic Irish coffee: another crowd favorite. Like other coffee beverages, it is served hot and beautiful on a cold day.
If you prefer some alternatives with coffee liqueur, try these:
- the Dirty Banana: a boozy shake with intense banana flavor
- the Bahama Mama: a favorite Tiki Drink
- the White Russian: a mix of vodka, coffee liqueur, and cream
Or you make use of the bottle of absinthe in your home bar and mix one of those: